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Friday, December 12, 2014

Revised VGEC Training Course Ready for Prime Time

By Duke DuTeil, VGEC Training Advisor

This summer and fall, under the direction of the Training Committee and as the VGEC Training Advisor, I re-wrote the verger’s training course from top to bottom. Drawing on experience from multiple congregations in several dioceses from both the local and national level, the new course stresses the servant ministry of the verger and the relationship between the verger, their clergy, and other ministries in their congregations. Several members of the VGEC volunteered to serve as editors and proofreaders.

The new course is distributed by email as a password protected PDF file and the person taking the course is able to type directly into the course rather than maintaining a separate notebook. Once receiving the course, the simplified enrollment process is completed by filling out the form on page 10 and submitting it to the Training Advisor. Once the form is received, a password protected complimentary copy of the course will be sent to the member’s mentor. Satisfactory completion of the course is determined by the individual, their mentor, and their Rector, Vicar, or Priest-in-Charge.

When the 2015 Vergers Training Course was ready for publication, it was sent to the 296 current Fellows of the Guild and to those presently enrolled in the course (509 as of the current membership directory). It has garnered much positive acclaim!

Natalie Hala, a VGEC Fellow from the Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin in San Francisco, California said, "The PDF formatting will greatly facilitate the ease of taking the course and preparing the submission.  How wonderful the expertise and resources were available to make this happen.  (I may have deforested our beloved California redwoods with my multiple page submission of last year!) I was especially impressed with the emphasis on the verger as servant ministry throughout the document, the gentle touches of humor interspersed throughout, and the addition of some very practical advice (e.g. parish dynamics, timing issues and incense, etc.). The course of study feels like it is a road map for a Christ-filled ministry.  What a terrific achievement! Again, congratulations to all involved in its production."

Cindy Ware, a VGEC Fellow from Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Kentucky added, "...it is much improved over the original one I had. Well done!! I love that it includes good tips and suggestions about every-Sunday sorts of tasks and checklists."

Those currently enrolled in a prior edition of the course may elect to continue with that version but they are welcome to switch over to the new edition. All prior course work can easily be incorporated into the new edition.

The other big news that accompanies the new course is the change in pricing. In an effort to make the course more accessible, the VGEC Board took a long hard look at what was included in the purchase price of the course and made a significant change. With the old $215 price tag members received the printed course, a renewal of their membership for one year, and upon completion you received a certificate and the Fellow’s Virge at the annual conference. The cost put the course out of reach for many of our members plus the guild's expense was even more than we were charging. With the $65 purchase price for the new course, you get the password protected PDF of the course and upon course completion, you receive recognition and a certificate of completion at the VGEC Annual Conference. You are then eligible to purchase the Fellow’s Virge from the Guild Shop. Anyone who purchased the course at the old pricing will still receive the Fellow’s Virge upon completion.

Information on the training course is available at vergers.org/training with a sample of the 2015 training course at the bottom of the page. You can purchase the course when you join the VGEC or renew your membership, or you can purchase it at the Guild Shop at shop.vergers.org.

For more information about the course or for questions you are welcome to contact me at [email protected]

Abstract: The Revised VGEC Training Course is now available. There are important changes incorporated in both the content and the method of course delivery. Read all the details in the Verger's Voice.

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